Our Republic and its press will rise and fall together

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Our Republic and its press will rise and fall together

Post by Linnea » 07-16-2005 04:43 AM

"An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know the right and courage to do it, can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery. A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself."

"Our Republic and its press will rise and fall together." --Joseph Pulitzer

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Post by mudwoman » 07-16-2005 05:48 AM

Thought you might enjoy this snippet of history. :)

Defining "Yellow Journalism":
Competition with Hearst

The Pulitzer name remains popular today because it is associated with the most prestigious award in American journalism. Yet many historians revile the award's benefactor with charges of irresponsible reporting and sensationalism. The Pulitzer name is most often linked in textbooks with that of William Randolph Hearst, a Californian who assumed control of the Journal in 1895.

Hearst burst onto Park Row, the New York street lined with newspaper buildings, and immediately began to shake things up. The ironic and tragic elements of the story cannot be ignored. The Journal was founded in 1882 by Albert Pulitzer, Joseph's brother. Albert sold the paper at a profit, and it continued with a modest circulation until Hearst moved to New York and purchased it. Surely, Hearst would have bought another paper had the Journal not been for sale, but Joseph had to live with the fact that the newspaper which became his chief competitor had originated within his own family. The two brothers became estranged over time, as Joseph considered his sibling rash and frivolous.

The irony does not end there; both Joseph Pulitzer and Hearst were outsiders when they came to New York. Their papers appealed to the same elements of the city that had previously been ignored by the press. Women, labor leaders, Democrats, immigrants and the poor found articles that held their interest and represented their political views.

Hearst's purchase of the Journal began one of the most dramatic periods of competition in journalistic history. He did not spare any expense in reaching his goal of increased circulation. He lowered the Journal's price to one cent, expanded the number of pages, and then dipped into his family's finances to support his bold moves. Much of his success came by imitation of Pulitzer. Hearst took the striking headlines of the World and made them larger and bolder. Trivial stories which compelled suspense and interest not only appeared on the front page of the Journal, they dominated it.

Early in 1896, Pulitzer began to pay serious attention to the newcomer. In January, Hearst enticed Richard Felton Outcault, the artist who drew the popular comic strip, "The Yellow Kid," to move to the Journal. The strip was named for the main character's colorful robes. Pulitzer's use of a color comic strip in the Sunday World was an innovation at the time. In addition to stealing Felton, Hearst managed in the same month to convince Pulitzer's entire Sunday staff to work for the Journal.

This constituted a coup on Park Row, and a dash of poetic justice. Pulitzer, although he was an established veteran in 1886, had originally stolen many of his staff members from other papers when he came to New York. His code name for the audacious publisher, "Gush," only begins to describe the animosity he felt toward the upstart. Hearst, at thirty-three, almost seemed a younger version of the forty-eight year-old Pulitzer. However, Pulitzer was never a man to resign in defeat. He hired George B. Luks to continue producing "The Yellow Kid" at the World even though its creator had left. The competition between Pulitzer and Hearst, each with his own brightly-colored comic strip, sealed their fates together and provided future historians with the convenient title of "yellow journalism."

Rivalry in the newspaper business generally results in a more informed public. Editors are compelled to become more innovative, and reporters must perform more research to scoop their competitors. Unfortunately, the financial and emotional stakes were too high in 1896 for Pulitzer or Hearst to consider losing. Both men had to contend with their tremendous egos and a public whose appetite had been whetted for sensation. Newspaper readers were begging for a scandal, regardless of the consequences, and that is what the World and the Journal delivered.

The Cuban insurrection would become the event that lowered the World's reputation forever as it sunk to compete with Hearst's Journal. The Journal fervently declared its support for the local revolutionaries against the tyranny of their Spanish rulers. Hearst even refused to carry news from Spanish sources, declaring only rebel informants could be trusted. Such a basic breach of journalistic objectivity offended the more conservative newspapers, but it made for exciting reading. People flocked to the newsstands to read the Journal's rebel accounts, which described the conflict in the simple language of the Spanish villain and the Cuban hero.

The World could have acted responsibly and depicted the clash accurately for its readers. However, the rising circulation rates of both the World and the Journal during this period of jingoism show that the drama made money for these newspapers, and the competition was too tight to throw the money away. Both papers lowered their standards so much that they routinely carried news items directly off the pages of their rivals.

Using an old journalistic trick, Hearst caught the World in the act. An article appeared in the Journal in 1898 describing the death of Colonel Reflipe W. Thenuz, whose name was a refashioning of the phrase, "We pilfer the news." The next day, Pulitzer's paper carried the item, being bold enough to add specific dateline information to make the story appear authentic. The Journal celebrated the gaffe for over a month while the World maintained a "pained silence"on its blunder.

The explosion of the American battleship Maine in Havana harbor on February 15, 1898, ensured that the U.S. would not be content to watch the Cuban spectacle from the bleacher seats any more. Two hundred and sixty crew members died in the blast, and a Navy board of inquiry examined the cause of the explosion. Many New York newspapers, including the Times, Tribune, Herald and Evening Post, counseled patience and peace for the time being. However, both the World and the Journal jumped on the jingo bandwagon, concurrently publishing a "suppressed cable" that said the explosion was not an accident. The cable was later discovered to have been manufactured.

The effect of the rabble rousing by the two largest newspapers in New York cannot be underestimated. The World claimed to have sold five million copies the week after the Maine disaster. 28 The public clamor for President McKinley to declare war was enormous as a result of the tainted reports in the papers. And though the Spanish-American War proved "splendid" from a military standpoint, it did not hold up to contemporary moral scrutiny.

Unfortunately, the World would be linked forever in history with Hearst's Journal under the banner of "yellow journalism" for the role it played in exacerbating the conflict. However, the conscious disregard for the facts was an aberration for Pulitzer, and his later correspondence revealed that the episode haunted him for the rest of his life. (See appendix for Hearst photo and example of sensational World front page.)

Other examples of the World's conduct reveal the paper did not always appeal to the lowest denominator. In a case similar to Cuba, a situation in South America threatened to turn into an international war. The discovery of gold in a disputed border area between Venezuela and British Guiana in 1895 prompted the Venezuelan president to appeal to President Cleveland on the basis of the Monroe Doctrine. Many Americans resented the evidence of British imperialism, especially in the Western hemisphere. Cleveland delivered a fiery message to Congress denouncing the British policy and practically demanded that the U.S. be involved in the arbitration process.

Instead of blindly supporting Cleveland, for whom he had fought so diligently in the 1884 election, Pulitzer instructed his editors to write balanced accounts of the situation. In one editorial, the World questioned the words of the President directly:

Is the integrity of Venezuela 'essential to the integrity of our free institutions?' . . . There is no menace to the boundary line. It is not our frontier. It is none of our business.

Pulitzer proved his genius for influencing the popular mood in a feat he dreamed up for the Christmas issue of the World. In an effort to quell the fighting mood in the U.S., he had the World office send hundreds of telegrams to British leaders asking them to cable collect with their statements of peaceful intent.

The responses ran on the front page. Portraits of the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York accompanied a reproduction of their joint cable, which said in part, "[We] earnestly trust . . . the present crisis will be arranged in a manner satisfactory to both countries. . . ." The Christmas World included all the elements of a classic Pulitzer appeal to the masses. It grabbed readers' attention, educated them and then appealed to their emotions. The headline over the story read "PEACE AND GOOD WILL."


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Post by Tim Egan » 07-17-2005 03:45 PM

Great thread and point, Linnea, and likewise with your post, Mudwoman.

Although I would have had a lot of differences with John Swinton's politics, his statement about the press of his day, sure rings true, today.


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Post by spiritme » 08-09-2005 02:25 PM

Speaking of Press. Bush was on msnbc....about an hour ago. From his ranch....you know where cattle and chickens and stuff are supposed to be! anyway.....he looked terrible.....worried ....
looks like the news that he is not so poopular is starting to get to him. He was stumbling and stammering as usual but there was something beneath all of that as he was not able to really get a grasp on the questions he was being asked!
spooky guy I tell ya.

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Post by sayntbrigid » 08-09-2005 02:37 PM

spiritme wrote: Speaking of Press. Bush was on msnbc....about an hour ago. From his ranch....you know where cattle and chickens and stuff are supposed to be! anyway.....he looked terrible.....worried ....
looks like the news that he is not so poopular is starting to get to him. He was stumbling and stammering as usual but there was something beneath all of that as he was not able to really get a grasp on the questions he was being asked!
spooky guy I tell ya.

I saw him Spiritme........I noticed it and mentioned at one of Iris' threads....he has not been looking well, and now today he looked thin faced and very grey in skin tone.......I thought I detected a slight note of.....whats the right word......broken of spirit?

Maybe just tired or ill............dunno

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Post by tiffany » 08-09-2005 11:54 PM

sayntbrigid wrote: I saw him Spiritme........I noticed it and mentioned at one of Iris' threads....he has not been looking well, and now today he looked thin faced and very grey in skin tone.......I thought I detected a slight note of.....whats the right word......broken of spirit?

Maybe just tired or ill............dunno

Maybe a repeat of whatever happened to him at the pre election debates.

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Post by Fred_Vobbe » 09-12-2005 09:54 AM

U.S. Won't Ban Media From New Orleans Searches
CNN filed suit for right to cover search for bodies of Katrina victims

HOUSTON, Texas (CNN) -- Rather than fight a lawsuit by CNN, the federal government abandoned its effort Saturday to prevent the media from reporting on the recovery of the dead in New Orleans.

Joint Task Force Katrina "has no plans to bar, impede or prevent news media from their news gathering and reporting activities in connection with the deceased Hurricane Katrina victim recovery efforts," said Col. Christian E. deGraff, representing the task force.

U.S. District Court Judge Keith Ellison issued a temporary restraining order Friday against a "zero access" policy announced earlier in the day by Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, who is overseeing the federal relief effort in the city, and Terry Ebbert, the city's homeland security director.

In explaining the ban, Ebbert said, "we don't think that's proper" to let members of the media view the bodies.

Army Lt. Col. Richard Steele, a member of Honore's staff, told CNN Saturday night that Honore was partly misunderstood. Steele said Honore meant that no media would be allowed to be imbedded with teams recovering bodies. However, recovery groups would not prevent reporters from doing their jobs, he added.

"He did not say we're going to ban anybody. We're not going to restrict them from any public areas whatsoever," Steele said. "We don't have any legal recourse to do any kind of law enforcement or anything like that in our role. So the only thing we do is we can control who goes with us; on our aircraft and on our trucks and in our boats, if that applies."

The judge was to consider granting a permanent injunction Saturday when the government announced its decision not to enforce the "zero access" policy.

In an e-mail to CNN staff, CNN News Group President Jim Walton said the network filed the the lawsuit to "prohibit any agency from restricting its ability to fully and fairly cover" the hurricane victim recovery process.

"As seen most recently from war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq, from tsunami-ravaged South Asia and from Hurricane Katrina's landfall along the Gulf," Walton wrote, "CNN has shown that it is capable of balancing vigorous reporting with respect for private concerns."

CNN filed suit against Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown, arguing that the officials who announced the decision were acting on FEMA's behalf.

"For an agency to unilaterally ban all coverage of a major component of its governmental function, that is, recovery of the deceased victims of the tragedy, is unprecedented," CNN argued in its legal brief. "Instead, the agency has made a subjective, content-based determination that publicizing the operation would be 'without dignity.'"

CNN's brief argued, "It is not the place of government to replace its own internal judgment for that of a free and independent media."

Because of controversy about how FEMA and other agencies handled the disaster response, CNN lawyers argued, "it is even more vitally important for the public, Congress and the administration to have an independent view of the conduct of this important phase of the operation."
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Post by Fred_Vobbe » 09-12-2005 09:57 AM

Brian Williams on The Daily Show ...
The Rules in New Orleans Are As Good Ss The Last Person Who Made Them."
Long URL

(FishbowlNY sums up Brian Williams' Thursday appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - via Mediabistro)

Last night Jon had the guest of guests - Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News, whose combination of reportage from the Superdome and frank blogging made him one of the standouts of the Katrina nightmare. Funnily enough he looks tanned and healthy, as though he just came back from vacation. Hardly.

After telling Jon "I like what you've done with the place" they got straight into the interview, which was gripping. Williams obviously has a crazy story to tell and he told it honestly and straightforwardly with little grandstanding or "Voice of God"-ness. Riveting. I'm sure C&L will have it soon (or if you're in NYC come on over, I DVR'd it. BYODC).

Williams said that he was there, then came back up here, then was compelled to go back down again after two days. "It's very difficult to leave, I feel a bond, a connection to this story," he said (in a sentiment reminiscent of Anderson Cooper). I was in the Superdome, with all those people," he said. He was in the Superdome when the storm hit, and he describes watching the roof suddenly come apart under Katrina. "In the morning they closed the huge steel doors at the players and equipment entrance of the Superdome, and we watched that roof just slowly start to come apart." Wow, said Jon. What was it like inside? Did you think you were goners? "Well, they said it was built to 200 miles per hour. Everyone in New Orleans was told it's safe, it's the shelter of last resort. If you don't have another option, if you don't have a car we'll fill the Superdome, we had 10,000 of us in there. And then we started watching those roof panels and it was making a terrible noise...there was rain coming in all over the roof."

Jon wants to know if there was confidence in the authorities, or if there was a sense of the impending tragedy. Brian wasn't impressed with the authorities; he remembers leaving at 6:30pm after the storm to do the Nightly News and surveying the skyline: "We knew it had taken a big hit." Meanwhile, back inside the Superdome no one had been told anything: when they could leave, what the conditions were outside, whether they'd have anything to eat (in other words, they knew about as much as Michael Brown). Also, he brings up the NOAA weather advisory from August 28th that foretold near-Armageddon damage (I've got it after the jump; salvaged it from my email). Williams said they all got it on their Blackberries on Sunday afternoon and weren't sure it was real; of course, it was.

So, Jon asks, when did Williams realize that the federal response was a total ****ing gongshow? "It was Thursday night, live on NBC nightly news. My guest was Michael Brown, head of FEMA. And I said, why no airlift?" Williams has been in Iraq, he knows what can be done with a Chinook or a Blackhawk. "I said, 'Why can't you drop pallets of MREs (Ed. - "Meals Ready to Eat") and water to those people, they're starving, down in the Convention Center.' He said "That's a good question.'" Dude found out about it on the air. "And then apparently Ted Koppel picked it up and had at him like a pinata later that night." The audience is glad for an excuse to laugh, and clap. This is riveting stuff.

Jon says it was the first time he ever saw the media look around and say, "wait a minute: the disparity between what I'm seeing on the ground and what I'm hearing from public officials is so vast, that --" Williams: "We couldn't help but (Jon: "Express bewilderment!" as Williams nods:) ...and show our surprise on the air and go after these public officials. This is, after all, what we do at the end of the day" (insert your own press-regains-its-backbone commentary here).

Then Williams recounts waking up to a flooded city after the levees broke; he couldn't figure out what was shining on the streets below -- flares? Strobe light? Nope. Water. "We were coming and going by SUV with the water up to the windows, we had to lock them up...looting had started....Louisiana State Police had to cover us as we left the hotel against guys who were gonna do a smash and grab and carjack. They aimed their weapons" -- here he cocks an imaginary gun per the photo above -- "and covered us until we took a left and went out of range. The story flowed over us as it did every viewer watching." Whoa. Williams expressed the outrage of him and his media brethren, Americans who refused to believe that their lives and those of their families were any more important than the people of New Orleans. Yes. You'd think.

Commercial. We only dimly care about the latest stupid Daily Show thinly-veiled-as-funny promotional segment, "Levi's presents: Great Moments in Style." Ew. I've still got the pall of seriousness over me from that interview, I don't want to hear that faux-cheesy voice harping at me to buy stupid Levis.

We're back. Jon asks him about police officers threatening the press. Brian recalls the crew covering a warehouse fire and a female officer raising her gun straight toward him and the crew, armed with an impressive arsenal of weaponry including notepads, pens and TV cameras. "We're not with Al Qaeda, we represented no danger to the firefighting effort, but tempers are getting short - people haven't slept. Now, the security has filled the city...there are more automatic weapons in New Orleans than in any spot on earth." He said even an Oklahoman National Guardsman forced them to shoot from across the street for something as mundane as securing a Brooks Brothers (well, mundane becomes relative in post-Katrina New Orleans).

Jon wants to know what's up with that - is it related to FEMA's ban on photographing the bodies? Is this just PR? Brian shakes his head, remembering; there were dead bodies all over the place, in regular locations, like markers, he said, remembering "one dead guy we knew we would pass on a certain corner within view of the Superdome...there are bodies all over in New Orleans and if they don't want them to appear on television first they should perhaps police the bodies." He mentions the corpse on Union Street made famous by the New York Times."The rules in New Orleans as good as the last person who made them."

Okay, says Jon. Let's get to it. Who's fault is it? Local officials? Our hapless feds? Give it up, Bri. No dice: "I'm gonna let that one go," says Williams, seriously. "I don't do opinions, I'm going to leave it to others." Ha - Jon has one: "Here's the only thing that I will say, comment on it if you will." (Cue the Jon Stewart Agenda - I'm not saying I don't agree with it, but don't tell me it ain't there.) "This administration continues to get us into situations that are untenable, and then once into those situations when people attempt to bring up that some of the decision-making may have been wrong-headed, the conversation always becomes" (cue Rummy-style bluster): 'Look, we're in a tough jam right now, no time to talk!'...It does seem to be a pattern of some sort." Williams allows himself some cautious agreement. He seems somehow owlish right now. Don't ask me why, I don't really know. "I will say, it was awfully hard. I've been to some pretty lousy places in my life -- Iraq over the past twelve months, and Banda Aceh -- open graves and bodies. These were Americans." Which led to the national refrain: "How is this happening in the United States?" and then to quieter, equally disturbing musings: "Had this been Nantucket, had this been Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles...how many choppers would have...?" He is cut off by applause. We all know how that sentence ends, anyway.

Jon thanks him and says he appreciates the work he's done. So does the audience, and so do I. My impression of Brian Williams as a mensch remains intact -- despite his James Bond-style good looks (reminiscent, I will say, of Peter Jennings) and smooth manner, he comes across as real. The age of the anchor may not be over yet.

I will say that Jon closed on a sour note for me: reminiscing about New Orleans as a city where he saw much "sating of the appetites" and being a little inappropriately lascivious in my view. Yep, we all know what New Orleans was famous for. Rick Bragg told us. But that was just a really shocking and graphic interview. The earthly delights of your youth seem long ago, and pretty insignificant just now. Still, he urges his audience to give generously. Ten points back on for Gryffindor.

That's it for this interview -- we're skipping the rest of the ep but we will share with you the moment of Zen: Pat Robertson channeling Barbara Bush and commenting that this whole death and destruction of Katrina thing was sure a lucky distraction for John Roberts! Not to mention, Pat Robertson, for you.
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Post by Cherry Kelly » 09-12-2005 10:48 AM

...and in other news from New Orleans - the task of reuniting missing children with families.

...CNN reporter stated there were some 200 children in an undisclosed place - can't give out pictures - can't give out ages - can't give out names - but these 200 are safe and separated from families.. (oddest story on missing children I'd seen - not even a number to call)

...NBC news reported that of the 1500 missing children 258 had (at air time) been reunited with families.

...ABC story just said call missing children hotlines. (ok - lot of the families have no access to phones)

...CBS featured a few of the children and where they last saw parents

...FOX talked about special hotlines for families seeking their missing children...with a "those without phone access - contact RedCross people at the various refugee areas"

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Post by spiritme » 10-05-2005 01:04 PM

Former Fox Employee: Staffers Would Just Make Things Up

TV Newser | October 5 2005

MSNBC correspondent David Shuster says his critical reporting about the Bush administration wouldn't have been welcome at his former employer, the Fox News Channel.

In an interview with The Hoosier Times, Shuster recounted his six-year tenure at FNC:

"At the time I started at Fox, I thought, this is a great news organization to let me be very aggressive with a sitting president of the United States (Bill Clinton)," Shuster said. "I started having issues when others in the organization would take my carefully scripted and nuanced reporting and pull out bits and pieces to support their agenda on their shows."

"With the change of administration in Washington, I wanted to do the same kind of reporting, holding the (Bush) administration accountable, and that was not something that Fox was interested in doing."

He continued: "Editorially, I had issues with story selection. But the bigger issue was that there wasn't a tradition or track record of honoring journalistic integrity. I found some reporters at Fox would cut corners or steal information from other sources or in some cases, just make things up. Management would either look the other way or just wouldn't care to take a closer look. I had serious issues with that."


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Post by spiritme » 11-19-2005 05:19 PM

Sinclair Employees Claim They Were Ordered To Slant News

Former and current news employees of Sinclair Broadcasting have described the owners' campaign to court powerful conservative legislators who responded by clearing away legal obstacles and thereby allow Sinclair to become the largest owner of TV stations in America. In interviews appearing in GQ magazine, the employees describe how they were subjected to political litmus tests before being hired, how they were ordered to report only "good news" about Iraq, how an interview with President Bush was delivered to stations with orders to replace the image of the interviewer with that of the local anchor, and how stations were required to run a nightly right-wing editorial delivered by Sinclair exec Mark Hyman that once accused the late Peter Jennings of "appearing to favor terrorists over America." (One local producer said that when she used a graphic to identify Hyman's commentary as an "editorial," Sinclair officials ordered her to remove the offending word.) Former Sinclair Reporter Jon Leiberman, who was fired for protesting against a planned anti-Kerry documentary last year (Leiberman says he voted for Bush in both presidential elections) said that Sinclair co-owner David Smith once told him his news reports ought "to look more like Mark's editorials." In addition to providing ideological aid, the GQ article alleges, Smith and his three brothers have reportedly contributed $2.3 million to the campaigns of key Republican Congressmen.

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Post by spiritme » 11-26-2005 10:55 PM

FOX News: Bush approval now at 28%
by John in DC - 11/26/2005 12:38:00 PM

UPDATE: I can't find this poll anywhere. I saw it live on FOX cable this morning, they even had it written at the bottom of the screen throughout the entire story, I kept looking at it because I couldn't believe it dropped that low. The only reference I could find online to Bush being 28% in the polls was an Al Jazeera story. It'd be funny if FOX repeated an Al Jazeera story! Anyway, I'm striking this headline until someone can backup the number.

This needs to stop or I'm just going to hyperventilate laughing.

The good news for Bush? Amongst insurgents in Iraq, his approval rating has soared. Apparently, they think he's doing a heck of a job - helping them.

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Post by spiritme » 11-28-2005 09:18 PM

Well I hope that this gets read as I was so upset that I emailed after reading Ann Coulters deatribe about " Murtha speech was so " unamerican that I emailed the " precious".......
I just got back an email saying that it had arrived and was deleted..............ah ha...........deleted...............doesn't that sound like something 'Bush " would do?
I had to laugh............and then I thought ............I will keep emailing and find out what the heck..............is going on.

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Post by spiritme » 01-15-2006 08:44 AM

Michelle Malkin, plagiarist
A few days ago, I looked at how Malkin's "Muslim-only banks" lie was picked-up by some right-wing blogs. After picking up on her recent misrepresentation of Hillary Clinton, I decided to look at how right-wing blogs had parroted her, ignoring Hillary's actual argument.

Reading military blogger Dadmanly, I discovered a mitigating detail: ABC News had already written a subtly misleading story. Like Malkin's column, it selectively quoted Hillary Clinton's letter to John Warner and others to give a false impression of the content of her letter.

Fine, so it wouldn't be fair to pick on readers of Malkin for having the wrong idea when a major news outlet got it wrong too.

However, it's interesting to look at why readers of ABC News would have the same false impression as readers of Malkin. First, ABC News:

"We perhaps could have avoided so many of these fatalities with the right body armor," said Clinton, who recently wrote letters to Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Armed Services Committee; Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee; and Francis J. Harvey, secretary of the Army, calling for an investigation into why troops were not being protected.

And Malkin's column:

"We perhaps could have avoided so many of these fatalities with the right body armor," concluded Brigadier General Clinton, who immediately dashed off letters to Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Armed Services Committee; Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee; and Francis J. Harvey, secretary of the Army. Smarter-than-thou Clinton is, of course, demanding an investigation (highly recommended by image consultants to boost one's pro-military posturing).

She just changed "said Clinton" to "concluded Brigadier General Clinton", "who recently wrote" to "who immediately dashed off" and "calling for an investigation" to "demanding an investigation", adding the snark about "smarter-than-thout" and "highly recommended by image consultants".

So, this is how Michelle Malkin writes her columns: she lifts paragraphs from the news, changes the verbs and adds snark.

If I could have an answer to one question from Michelle, it'd be whether she actually read Hillary Clinton's letter, or she wrote her column on the basis of that ABC News story.

Here another example of "right wing media".......and the sloths that contribute to it.

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Post by spiritme » 01-17-2006 06:31 AM

After Raw Story article, Republican National Committee modifies website
John Byrne
Published: January 16, 2006

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The Republican National Committee has revised their website in the wake of a RAW STORY article revealing that the Party had listed nonprofit organizations as "GOP groups."

An article this morning revealed that the Party listed non-partisan, tax-exempt nonprofits as "GOP groups." By this afternoon, the RNC had changed their website to list nonprofits and other groups illegally listed as Republican Party groups as "Other Organizations."

RAW STORY's earlier article follows. At left is a small screenshot of how the page appeared Monday morning.


It's an open secret in Washington: Nonprofit doesn't always mean nonpartisan.

But RAW STORY has found that the Republican National Committee lists a panoply of conservative nonprofits as "GOP groups"--in direct violation of the nonprofit charter.

Tax-exempt nonprofits can lobby on political issues but cannot participate directly in campaign activities. The American Civil Liberties Union lobbied Congress to ban torture. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington lobbies Congress on Congressional corruption. And Americans for Tax Reform presses lawmakers to slash taxes and government spending.

Many of these groups are led and founded by avowed Democrats or Republicans. Clinton chief of staff John Podesta started Center for American Progress, a liberal thinktank. The Leadership Institute's Morton Blackwell oversaw the youth effort for Ronald Reagan, and former counsel to liberal congressman John Conyers, Melanie Sloan, started Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics.

But 501(c)(3) law--referring to the provision in the Internal Revenue Code that designates organizations exempt from corporate and property taxation and makes donations tax deductible--strictly prohibits groups from endorsing candidates or political parties.

A nonprofit "may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate at all in campaign activity for or against political candidates," the IRS law reads.

At least six "GOP groups" listed and linked on the Republican National Committee website are tax-exempt nonprofits. These include the American Enterprise Institute, American Values, Coalition for Urban Renewal, Frontiers of Freedom, the Heritage Foundation and the Leadership Institute.

If defined as a "GOP group," these organizations would not qualify for tax-exempt status under their charters.

The Republican National Committee could not immediately be reached for comment.

The American Enterprise Institute, for instance, a multi-million dollar free-market thinktank founded in 1943 that has emerged as a stalwart supporter of the Bush Administration, defines itself as a "private, nonpartisan, not-for-profit institution."

AEI's "About Us" page declares that "as a tax-exempt educational organization governed by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, AEI is generally prohibited from attempting to influence legislation in the U.S. Congress or other legislative bodies." It adds, "AEI's 501(c)(3) tax status also forbids it from participating in any campaign for elected public office."

Engaging in decidedly partisan campaign activity--such as formally lending its name to a Republican Party website--would violate the group's charter.

The Heritage Foundation, another thinktank juggernaut dating from the 1970s, defines itself as a "research and educational institute" and "public charity" as a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit. It too, under law, should not appear on a political party's website.

In addition to nonprofits, the "GOP groups" page lists conservative lobbying committees--groups which are not supposed to coordinate with political campaigns or parties.

Among these: Americans for Tax Reform, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the National Taxpayer's Union & National Taxpayer's Union Foundation.

Some are chaired by prominent Republicans--Americans for Tax Reform by conservative maverick Grover Norquist and Citizens for a Sound Economy (Freedom Works) by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX). Yet both groups are bound by 501(c)(4) law which prohibits them from coordinating with the Republican Party.

In addition, the political action committee Campaign for Working Families should not be listed as a GOP group.

According to their website, "CWF is a non-partisan political action committee (PAC) dedicated to electing pro-family, pro-life and pro-free enterprise candidates to federal and state offices… Federal laws governing tax-exempt organizations formed for the purpose of educating the public are strict and do not permit them to participate in the electoral process."

Nonprofits in the United States date to the Massachusetts Bay Company, which created the first American board to oversee a grant of property during colonial times. Later, nonprofit status was conferred on private universities.

The nonprofit realm grew dramatically in the 1950s and received greater legislative attention as the organizations became professionalized, leading to increased regulatory scrutiny in the 1980s.

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